RELIGION VERSUS RELATIONSHIP
Religion is simply "a form of worship." The only religion which God ever established was Judaism. That religion has been so altered by man over the years, that the religion which God established does not exist today. Therefore, all religion today is from man. Some confuse religion with Christianity. Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. God loves each and every one of us and is reaching out to us through His Son. (Heb. 1:1,2)
Once we believe and receive the Son of God, we are free to worship God any way we wish, within Godly parameters. James said that if we want "religion," a form of worship which is acceptable to God, go and take care of the orphans and widows. (James 1:27)
Jesus said, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." ( John 3:17) Jesus Christ came to bring salvation to the unworthy, to sinners, and it is not based upon a person's religious denomination, theology, or good works. (1 Tim. 1:15; Isa. 64:6)
Our past life course has no bearing on our salvation because when we receive Jesus Christ, God forgives all of our sin. God accepts us just as we are and makes no demands for performance on us. (2 Cor. 5:17-19; Col. 2:13)
Some religious groups claim that salvation is exclusive with them, and only those in their religion will be saved. Truth is that God's salvation is available to all who come to Him. He excludes no one and He doesn't deal exclusively with one group, organization, or religion. He deals with individuals.
No religion has eternal life or salvation to give to anyone and there is not one word in the Bible which even implies that we can get eternal life through a religion or that we must go through a religion to get to God. During this era of grace, salvation is contingent on our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son, and nothing else.
No one will be saved and receive eternal life without believing and receiving Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only WAY to God, He is the only TRUTH, and He is eternal LIFE. Jesus is, "the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6)
John said, "He who acknowledges the Son has the Father also." He never said it the other way around. One cannot go directly to the Father. (lJohn 2:23) John also said, "He who has the Son has eternal life" (1 John 5:13)
This does not mean we don't fellowship with our brothers in the body of Christ. The Watchtower, and now Harold Camping tell everyone to get out of the churches. Both misapply Revelation 18:4, which is fulfilled at the end of the Great Tribulation. We need to fellowship in Christian churches.
1. God has used the Christian church for 2,000 years to preach the gospel of Christ and call and edify His elect.
2. We grow in grace and peace and in our relationship with the Lord and with those we will spend eternity with.
3. We edify others and are edified by others in the body of Christ.
4. We praise our Lord by fellowshipping, singing, and letting Him speak to us through the Word.
5. We help others in their walk in Christ.
6. There are still many in churches who have not been reborn by the Holy Spirit and are therefore not saved. What a great place to reach lost souls.
Article by Dan Hall Reproduced with permission from the November, 2003 Revealer
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